Beefed Up Security Put Into Place For Long Island Marathon
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Thousands of runners from 30 states ran the Long Island Marathon Sunday.
The race was held Sunday morning in Uniondale.
Bomb-sniffing dogs and state troopers were on hand as part of the beefed up security. There are officers on horseback and motorcycle along the route and police helicopters are also keeping an eye on things from the sky.
Runners were only allowed clear plastic bags to hold their belongings as part of the stepped up security.
Many of the participants of the race wore buttons or shirts to support the victims of the Boston bombings.
A Huntington man who ran in the Boston Marathon was along the sidelines Sunday morning.
“I feel safe. We were at the Lord & Taylor building at the three-hour mark. It really hit us, we left right past the finish line. We were very nervous at that time. The next day, we were just completely floored at what happened,” the man told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck.
A Mineola woman who also ran in the Boston Marathon wrote, “This Is For You Boston” on her t-shirt.
“I was about 4, 5 blocks from the finish line at Boston when everything happened so I didn’t get to the finish line. I’d like to run 9-minute pace, hopefully finish around 4[p.m.]. After Boston, it’s like the time isn’t that important, I just want to finish,” the runner told Schuck.
PHOTOS: Long Island Marathon Weekend
A moment of silence was held before the start of the race in honor of the three people killed when twin bombs went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said he was moved by what he saw at the Long Island Marathon.
“Just the overwhelming spirit of America, you can feel it here today. People are proud to run today,” Mangano told Schuck.
“In light of Boston, we are certainly on notice so we’re using all of our assets and we’ve approached this as a security event,” Mangano told WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall.
During Saturday’s 5K race, runners noticed the increased security.
“Every corner, every station. You couldn’t go anywhere without seeing police. And that’s nice, it makes you feel safe,” a runner told Hall.
One-mile, 5K and “fun run” races were held Saturday, while the 10K, half and full marathons were held Sunday.
Before the marathon began, there were 26 seconds of silence and a “Long Islanders Running for Boston” well-wishing wall was revealed.
Derek Rammelkamp, 23, was the men’s winner for the Long Island Marathon, covering the 26.2 miles in 2 hours, 32 minutes and 10 seconds, according to a Newsday report. Kelly Gillen, 30, was the winner for the women, finishing in 3 hours, 3 minutes and 4 seconds.
The New Jersey Marathon in Monmouth County was also under increased security on Sunday.
Thousands were expected to participate in the race through eight counties.
Bomb-sniffing dogs, security checkpoints and a heightened police presence were some of the security measures in place. Race organizers also announced that bags would be banned from areas along the route.
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